Friday morning, NYPD turned out en masse to say farewell to a fellow officer, Jason Rivera. Rivera was one of two officers who were executed in what can only be described as an ambush attack inside an apartment in Harlem when they answered a domestic disturbance call. (For our coverage of this tragedy, read NYC Cop Is Shot With an Illegal Weapon and the Shooter Walks. NYC Mayor Eric Adams Doesn’t Have a Gun Problem, He Has a Sanity Problem, One NYPD Officer Killed, Another Fighting for His Life, and If You Thought NYC Mayor Eric Adams Would Offer Anything Other Than Excuses for Gun Violence, You Need Your Head Examined).
Another angle shows the phalanx of blue turned out for the funeral.
If you were a normal person, you might have been deeply affected by the speech of Rivera’s new bride and by the solidarity of a police force under siege by the government it serves with a fallen officer who could literally be anyone in the crowd. But, if you were a bit abnormal, you’d want to score political points on the funeral for the amusement of your progressive and Antifa friends.
A New York City teacher posted an Instagram story Saturday that appeared to encourage violence against police mourning the murder of detective Jason Rivera, drawing outrage from members of New York’s Finest.
Christopher Flanigan, who teaches math at Coney Island Prep in Brooklyn according to his LinkedIn page, posted an overhead shot of thousands of officers lining Fifth Avenue for Rivera’s funeral Friday outside St. Patrick’s Cathedral. The post was captioned, “5/30/20: NYPD SUV drives into a crowd of protestors. Ideal conditions for reciprocity.”
The “5/30/20: NYPD SUV drives into a crowd of protestors. Ideal conditions for reciprocity.” caption refers to this incident during the mostly peaceful and entirely justified George Floyd Memorial Riot Tour.
Flanigan seems, at least to native English speakers, to be insinuating that someone should drive a vehicle into the NYPD ranks in payback.
After Flanigan’s Instagram post got more attention than he’d ever anticipated, he quickly came up with an alternative narrative, sort of the “we don’t teach Critical Race Theory” defense of evil social media posts.
Flanigan, who is trying not to become permanently jobless, now claims that his post was “misconstrued” and that he was merely commenting on the “vulnerability” of the officers.
“I respect the NYPD. I do not condone violence,” he said to the Post on Sunday. “A 22-year-old police officer murdered in the line of duty is reprehensible. I’m devastated by that.”
Flanigan appears to not only have been fired but is reaping a little of the whirlwind he decided to sow.
“We do not condone or promote violence of any sort. As of this afternoon, Mr. Flanigan is no longer employed at Coney Island Prep,” Coney Island Prep CEO Leslie-Bernard Joseph said in a statement.
“The teachers and staff of Coney Island Prep are public servants; and like all public servants we hold ourselves to a much higher standard,” Joseph said. “We work hard to serve the young people in our community, and we know our police officers do as well, taking innumerable risks, to keep our city safe.”
Flanigan told The Post on Sunday that he’d received death threats over his since-deleted Instagram Story showing an overhead shot of officers flooding Fifth Avenue for Rivera’s funeral, with the caption, “5/30/20: NYPD SUV drives into a crowd of protestors. Ideal conditions for reciprocity.”
Just a few thoughts on this. I’m opposed to the entire cancel culture as it reduces public discourse from the lowest common denominator to the lowest possible denominator. For instance, last week, a demented writer at Slate, I know, that doesn’t narrow the waterfront all that much deliberately misconstrued tweets by Ilya Shapiro, a conservative who just went to work at Georgetown Law, in a cruel and malicious attempt to get him fired. That is not what happened here. Here Flanigan not only mocks the funeral of an NYPD officer, which would be merely offensive but fantasizes about a Waukesha-style retaliatory direct-action operation against assembled NYPD officers. There is no standard under which that is defensible.
In my view, what happened to Flanigan here is simple justice. Anyone who would feel comfortable posting this stuff on social media should be shunned by society, and they should not be allowed to teach children anything.
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